NSW Bureau of Meteorology heatwave warning prompts NSW Health alert

Heatwave: This weekend is predicted to be a scorcher. Picture: John Veage
Heatwave: This weekend is predicted to be a scorcher. Picture: John Veage

With a heatwave predicted to hit Sydney over the weekend, bringing temperatures of up to 39 degrees on Sunday, NSW Health is urging people to take necessary precautions to protect their health.

The NSW Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a hot and mostly sunny day for Saturday, with temperatures expected to reach a top of 33 degrees.

But Sunday will be the real scorcher, when the mercury is expected to rise to 39 degrees. With this in mind, NSW Health today issued a heat alert urging people to take precautions during the predicted 'heatwave conditions'.

The bureau said today that with "heatwave conditions" predicted for a large part of NSW this weekend, "try to keep your cool. Plan ahead, drink plenty of fluids, check on family, friends and neighbours".

With this in mind, NSW Health today issued a 'heat alert' and its Environmental Health branch acting director Dr Adi Vyas said people should take extra precautions as temperatures climb.

"We are urging people to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, to keep well hydrated and to look after vulnerable neighbours and relatives," Dr Vyas said.

"Hot weather puts a lot of strain on the body, causes dehydration and can make underlying health conditions worse.

"It also causes heat stress and heat stroke.

"Signs of heat-related illness include dizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or cramps, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion."

Dr Vyas said people aged 75 and over, people with chronic medical conditions and people who live alone are particularly vulnerable.

He said people could take a number of simple precautions to reduce the risk of heat-related illness. These include:

  • Avoid the heat of the day by staying indoors
  • Keep cool inside by using air-conditioning and fans, and drawing blinds and keeping curtains closed
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Check on the welfare of vulnerable neighbours, friends and family
  • Plan ahead for hot days.

"If you're able to cool your home through a combination of fans, air-conditioning and closed blinds, please do so and stay at home," Dr Vyas said.

"That way, we won't compromise physical distancing in public indoor venues, such as shopping centres, libraries and community halls where people may seek respite from the heat."

"If you do leave your home to attend other indoor spaces, please physically distance and wear a mask in places where you cannot maintain 1.5 metres distance from others."

Anyone showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention.

This story Heatwave warning prompts health alert first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.